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America 11, Dr. Lomax 9, Dr. Michael Lomax 5, Us 3, Frederick Douglass 2, Martin Luther King Iii 2, U.s. 2, Obama 2, Barack Obama 2, United States 1, United Negro 1, Is America Post 1, Dr. Williams 1, Obama Postelection 1, Simon Johnson 1, Spellman 1, Citizenry 1, Dillard University 1, Peers 1, Maryland 1,
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  CSPAN    [untitled]    [curator: unknown description]  

    April 6, 2010
    2:00 - 2:30pm EDT  

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continuous improvement under the great leadership -- our work will go on. we allowed to communicate to the american people. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, governor. i mean, secretary. thank you are very much to the national press club staff as well as those who came today. thank you. this meeting is adjourned. . .
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>> simon johnson talks about the power of wall street banks since the 2008 financial collapse. then former treasury secretary, henry paulson, from his memoir. then at 8:30 p.m., is afterwards with john lewis. the transportation department will suit toyota -- they will fine to yet for $6 million.
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congressional meetings have call into question the government enforcement of these standards. two former administrators discuss federal oversight of car safety standards. they are joined by the president and ceo of alliance of automobile manufacturers. they will take your phone calls and tweets tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern. see the winners of c-span's studentcam video documentary competition. middle and high school students submit it videos on one of the country's greatest strengths. watched the top winning videos every morning on c-span at 6:50 a.m. eastern. at 8:30 a.m., meet the students who made them. for a preview of the winners, visit studentcam.org.
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>> we are in a unique position to go to war. we make -- we need the policy makers to develop a road map to get it done. >> something about energy policy you would like to talk about? at the new c-span library you can search it and share it. over 160,000 hours of video, every c-span program since 1987. this c-span video library, cables latest gift to america. >> we will look at u.s. race relations with marks from martin luther king iii. he spoke at a symposium last month posted by the constitution center in philadelphia. this is one hour and 40 minutes. >> is my pleasure to open up the inauguration of what we intend will be an annual symposium on race. before we get started i want to thank the john f. foundation for
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generously underwriting tonight's program. two years ago then senator barack obama stood on this stage and delivered one of the most important speeches of that campaign election. some people would argue one of the most important speeches ever said in america. in that speech the original that he used is now in our core exhibition signed by barack obama. he challenged the american people to face the complexities of race in this country. to acknowledge the racial stalemate we have been stuck in four years. for many citizens, this resonated powerfully. the message that by working together we can move past racial wounds and continue on a path
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towards a more perfect union. after president obama postelection, the notion of a post-racial america seemed to move towards the forefront of the national consciousness. people ask, is america post- racial? there was a flurry of editorializing from nearly every media outlet. these conversations have continued. the idea of a post-racial america has been framed in many ways, a fallacy, a goal, an open question, but one thing is clear, the historic election of our nation's first african- american president has not taken ask, as he said, beyond racial divisions in a single election cycle. tonight we commemorate the two-
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year anniversary of president obama's historic speech by asking some of these questions and assessing where do we stand on these issues to lead? in this effort, we are very honored to be joined by some distinguished speakers. gwen ifill, martin luther king iii, thomas sugrue, and initiating tonight's program, dr. michael lomax. following dr. lomax's remarks, chuck williams will introduce in more detail our additional panel members. he will also moderate the discussion. dr. williams is the former co- hosts of the show on cbs radio. he is currently an assistant clinical professor and director of the center for prevention of
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school age violence at drexel university. it is my great pleasure to introduce to you dr. michael lomax. he will share his thoughts with us before we move to the panel. he is one of our nation's foremost leaders in advocating racial equality and justice. for years, dr. lomax has been encouraging americans to see education as the pivotal area where racist dynamics must be acknowledged and addressed. if it is noteworthy that tonight, as we dig into some of the challenges of racial division in america, that president obama just this week introduced a blueprint for an elementary and secondary education act that would overhaul no child left behind.
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i know dr. lomax agrees that the president is confronting a pervasive racial stereotypes when he asserts "that all students should graduate from high school prepared for college and a career no matter who you are and no matter where you come from." that is a quote from president obama. as president and ceo of the united negro college fund, dr. lomax heads the nation's largest minority education organization. through its member colleges and universities, scholarship programs and advocacy activities, he is dedicated to combating inequality for low income students of color and overcoming educational inequity. prior to his current role, dr. lomax served for seven years as
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president of dillard university, and prior to that he spent 30 years in public service as -- and in academia, including serving as the first african- american chairman as the filson county board of commissioners. he has taught literature at spellman college and the university of georgia, and is a trustee of emory university, as well as a member of the teach for america national board of directors and a national -- member of the national museum of african-american history. it is my great pleasure to introduce him now, please get a warm welcome to dr. michael lomax. [applause] >> thank you very much. good evening. i am deeply honored to be here.
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after watching that clip, a little intimidated. as we have seen from that clip of the then senator obama's speech delivered here to -- two years ago, it was a very elegant and thoughtful speech on the subject of race. in it, he found a path through the national minefield, and for a brief period managed to put the subject of race on hold and find a space to pursue his candidacy without being mired in the turmoil that often attends that subject. even one year ago his election seemed to have ushered in a new age, a post-racial era in which
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america and pure and simple would be the only legitimate basis for individual success. but today with the economy still staggering, with partisan politics, with tempers short, so many americans in pain and black americans turning as usual more than most, there certainly is -- black americans hurting as usual. there is a sense that the age of obama may be distinctive, but not really different. race seems to matter a lot, particularly among those who have the least and are at the bottom socially and economically. economically. senator obama may have sidestepped the issue in the 2008 presidential contest, but if you asked residents of central cities across this country, they may tell you that they are still stuck in that,
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black and blue, just like before. race is so daunting, such a big and expensive subject, that is hard to determine how to approach it, where to begin. for all african americans, it is both larger than life and also a deeply personal and intimate. so i will begin my remarks this evening with a brief personal reflection from my own experience of race over the six decades of my life. from that vantage point, it is impossible not to and knowledge that if not post-racial, the united states is not the vicious and bimonthly racial society i was born into in 1947, shortly after war war ii. after all, i grew up on the real news stories of him until --
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emmitt till, the freedom rides, the march on washington, police dogs, and fire hoses. the harsh realities of being black in america were impossible to avoid. i came of age with the assassination of martin luther king. i got called nigger and i listen to white man called my mother girl. i sat in the back of the bus, attended a segregated school, i have in the, drank from, and relieve myself at the facilities reserved for people like me. and i suffered all of the psychological, if not physical, damage attendant on those experiences. from that perspective, my life is so much better, and the u.s.
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is a much better place. but, you know, my life is not the whole story. and i see that daily in the works that i used to provide educational opportunities for all children, especially low- income kids of color who have such a particularly difficult time breaking the cycle of under education and poverty that have haunted and help their families captive today, these kids' lives looked little different from the lives of black children a half century ago and more. they live in a cycle of under education and poverty that constricts what they can beat, they can do, and what society
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can expect of and receive from them. in this cycle, the result of some -- is this cycle the result of some continued molina and malevolent racial intent? -- continued malevolent intent, or is it the legacy of the beaufort structural racism -- legacy of the covert structural racism? it still has the force of habit propelling it from one generation to the next. what explains the fact that educational opportunity is not equally distributed for all of our kids? why is it that a hard working, high performing, low income kidd of color has a one in 10 chance of completing college?
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while an upper income white kid has a 75% chance? i focus on education because i have concluded that if not a syllable at -- the silver bullet to take out an equity, education is the best single letter up and out of the bottom steps where so many of our kids of color resigned. the great 19th century abolitionist orator and activist frederick douglass said, education is the pathway from slavery to freedom. and that powerful sentiment seems as true today as it did when he first wrote it in 1845. getting a good education remains the best and surest path out of the stranglehold of intergenerational poverty.
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access to education has been a marker of the success or failure of the black freedom struggle from the days douglass put pen to paper. and it is instructive to remember how hard to blacks have struggled to get education and how elusive that goal has been. on like millions of other slaves who were doomed to legally in force illiteracy, douglass had learned to read and write, and he did use those skills to forge a path that allowed him to travel from maryland to massachusetts, from bondage to freedom. actor the civil war, teaching blacks to read and write was no longer legally prohibited, but it was still a matter of controversy and debate. the argument went something like this -- since blacks did not
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have the same mental capacities as whites, they were destined to be manual laborers, and therefore should not exercise their franchise as citizens. attempting to educate them would only make them dissatisfied with their condition. therefore, do not educate them. so for nearly a century after emancipation, education was rationed to african-americans, codify under segregation and the legal doctrine of separate but equal, african-americans were restricted to poorly financed, marginalize schools even though they were paying equal taxes. their opportunities to obtain even basic literacy were strictly constrained, and advanced education was off- limits to all but a limited few.
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americans public education system remains through most of the 20th-century a dual system, one that rationed rigorous academic stuff to some, mostly white, children and doled out only basic skills to the broad masses, and even that was delivered poorly. so nearly a century and a half after emancipation, black americans are still finding it difficult to pursue that educational freedom road about which douglass wrote before the civil war. now, a year into his term, president obama is proposing a sweeping revision of the landmark no child left behind legislation that was passed with uncharacteristic bipartisan support a decade ago. for all of its flaws in design
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and implementation, when we discuss the child left behind, i think it is important to make knowledge that it was perhaps the first national articulation of the notion that all americans are due as their right, not to spread and unequal education but that they are all due to learn challenging, academic content and the mental skills that will prepare them for further education and for careers. all children, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, or economic condition, have the right to a public education that will prepare them for college, or demanding employment, for citizenship and civic engagement. today our nation is in the
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throes of a pervasive and still- threatening the economic crisis. we are re-examining institutions and fundamentally restructuring them to ensure that they whether the store and serve us better in the years to come. education is being viewed as foundational to a more secure national future, and for the first time in our country's history, there is a broad sense that we need all of our children to be better educated, not just an elite few. this week the president has called for the reauthorization of the elementary and second edition -- secondary education act, and a re-engineering of our public education system so that young men and women who graduate from our high schools will be able to enter college without injuring three mediation or enter the work force without needing retraining.
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thus they can be the refined human capital base for a sound economy and a vigorous, engaged citizenry. in 1865, with the end of the civil war, our nation had the chance to prepare former slaves for the challenges of freedom and citizenship by giving them education. doing so would have said an extraordinary precedent for educating the waves of immigrants who would come to america and in the decades that followed. but the nation refused. america turned its back on the freed slaves, and had it not been for the missionaries and for the freed men and women themselves, there would have been no formal education opportunities, no schools, no colleges. so this is a unique moment in american history.
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over the last decades of this and the previous century, we have struggled to reach imagine, reengineer, and redesigned our public schools. new generations of young americans are addressing themselves to address centuries of social inequities by become teaching -- by becoming teachers and school leaders. innovators are redesigning schools and creating bold new charters were poor children are finally being given the chance to learn and prepare themselves for the demands of the global and highly competitive economies in which they live. in the white house or two individuals who demonstrate the power of education to overcome the barriers of circumstance and to prepare them for lives beyond the boundaries that seem so fixed before they began their own educational journeys.
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so for me, this is a moment to challenge us all to examine carefully our public schools and our public education loss, policies, and practices. but it is also the moment to reaffirm that we are finally on the right course in our country. at last we are saying that all of our children can learn. and that all of our children must be educated to the high and rigorous standards demanded of the 21st century. and if we do that, we will finally put all of our children on frederick douglass' pathway from slavery to freedom. isn't it about time? [applause]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, welcome the moderator for tonight's program, dr. charles williams. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, let's give dr. lomax another round of applause. [applause] dr. lomax, if you are afraid to follow obama, i am afraid to follow you. [laughter] i like to thank all of you in the audience for being here tonight. give yourself a round of applause for coming in sight on this beautiful evening to talk about an issue that matter so much to all of us. i like to thank the national constitution center for giving me the opportunity to give me -- give me the opportunity to participate in this very
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worthwhile manner. c-span -- they seem to follow me wherever i go, at least in my head. and a special thanks to my colleagues and peers at the university for supporting -- drexel university for supporting this, we have people watching us live through the support of drexel university. dr. lomax talked about education, and i believe is a professor of a school of education, that there is probably no greater an indication of racial disparity than that which we find in education. with that said, tonight we plan to build and expand upon the comments made by dr. lomax. tonight with the support of a panel of very distinguished folk, myself not included, we
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will discuss the issue of america's racial divide, offering special consideration to issues related to politics, media, and economics. and while we will not be able to discuss all of the myriad issues, large and small, we throughout this complex, a -- we've done throughout this complex social phenomenon, we hope to have a dialogue about america's oldest and most dangerous social cancer. and remember that tonight is the first in a series of discussions on this issue, which the national constitutional center has committed to posting. so with the support of diverse groups of individuals from various professional, social, and economic backgrounds, we hope to continue a conversation with your support started just
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two years ago on this very stage. the question essentially is this -- how do we build that more perfect union, insuring that all have an opportunity to pursue a dream that brought so many to our shores? how do we close america's racial divide? and to quote of then-senator barack obama, or reduces it issued that this nation cannot afford to ignore. let us start our conversation. we of 40 met dr. michael lomax from the united negro college fund. next we have dr. michael lomax -- dr. thomas sugrue, author of the forthcoming book on some of these issues, although "not even past -- barack obama and the
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burden of race." [applause] we all got the memo of the color of the tie? [laughter] next we have somebody that probably needs no introduction, given the affinity that many people have for the memory of his father, not just in this country but around the world. of course we're talking about the late rev. dr. martin luther i believe his twitter name is king 3. is that true? martin luther king iii, a leader in his own right, served as the